CARVER – Wary of signing petitions against gun violence that are too political, School Committee members still want to effect change to make schools safer, but in a different way.
While not discussing the particulars of a pair of petitions that committee members have been asked to support, committee members agreed Monday night that taking a stand should be a community effort. To that end, a community forum was suggested.
Superintendent Scott Knief and School Committee Chairman James O’Brien queried School Committee members Monday night if and how they want to take a position on gun violence and school safety.
O’Brien said there should be a lot more discussion on school safety before jumping on board with a position or supporting any petition. He said it’s about making sure they are putting their names to a document they can support.
School Committee member Andy Cardarelli said actual solutions need to be found, but he has questions about the political nature of petition requests.
“I don’t think we should sign on to any letters brought to us that are in the political realm,” he said. “I think we run the risk of being used by groups and causes, no matter what it is,” with a few exceptions.
He said they are not going to solve the world’s political problems, and he doesn’t want to get in the weeds.
School Committee member Stephanie Clougherty said students have so much to worry about, and she’s behind efforts to make them feel safe in their schools.
“If we in any way can use our voice to help facilitate change, to help them feel more secure when they’re in school, I’m behind it,” she said.
School Committee member Andrew Soliwoda supported the idea of an open forum with representation from the police, staff, committee members and residents for discussion of the issues.
I don’t think anybody has the answer, so it’s just figuring out what is the best plan for us as a community,” he said. “I would love to hear the police chief and the staff. They have a lot more knowledge than I would.”
O’Brien said they need to start locally, with public input from within Carver, to make decisions before joining with other school districts or other groups to take a stand collectively.
“I really think the more communication we have as a community is really going to help us make the best decision as a community moving forward,” he said.
Follow Kathryn Gallerani on Twitter @kgallreporter.